As the aviation industry evolves toward next- generation fly-by-wire vehicles, hydraulic and electrohydrostatic actuators (EHA) are replaced with their electro-mechanical counterparts. By eliminating fluid leakage problems while reducing weight and enhancing vehicle control, the feasibility of electromechanical actuators (EMA) in avionic applications has been established. However, due to the inherent nature of electronic components and systems to fail, improved diagnostic and prognostic methods are sought to keep the all-electric aircraft safe. An innovative approach to the emulation of avionic EMA operation is presented. Realistic load profiles can be applied to a scaled-down EMA testbed while executing the in-flight actuator motion commands in real-time. The proposed EMA Emulator is designed to enable the insertion of degraded electronic components, such as the power transistors of the motor drive, to analyze the servo loop response of an aged actuator system. That is, the EMA motion trajectory, or position, data is acquired with various levels of power electronics degradation to populate a fault- to-failure progression (FFP) database of actuator servo loop response signatures. Ultimately, the FFP signature database is leveraged to develop prognostic methods to assess the State of Health (SoH), estimate Remaining Useful Life (RUL), and support Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) of avionic EMA systems.
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actuator, condition based maintenance (CBM), Electromechanical actuator, remaining useful life (RUL)
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